The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor's Letter - Sue Peart

CHRIST­MAS IS A TIME OF JOY, AND ALSO OF RE­FLEC­TION; a mo­ment to pause and cast our minds back over the events of the past 12 months. Sadly, this year has been al­most un­prece­dented for the tragic loss of life in sev­eral ma­jor in­ci­dents: the baf­fling bru­tal­ity of the West­min­ster Bridge and Lon­don Bridge ter­ror­ist at­tacks, the hor­ror of the Manch­ester Arena bomb and the dev­as­ta­tion of the Gren­fell fire, less than a mile from where I’m writ­ing this now. While for many, our in­stinct would be to flee from any such in­ci­dent, there are oth­ers – po­lice and fire of­fi­cers, paramedics – whose first thought is to move to­wards the dan­ger and to save lives. Many of these un­sung he­roes carry the trauma of what they have seen and dealt with for the rest of their lives. On page 32 we hon­our some of the brave women who waded into dan­ger on our be­half at this year’s ma­jor emer­gen­cies. DO YOU EVER FAN­TA­SISE about spend­ing the ‘third chap­ter’ of your life in a house shared with like-minded women? Last year, three 60-plus friends – An­drea, Sally-Mae and Lyn – set about do­ing ex­actly that, to the amaze­ment of their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. One year on, we caught up with them ( page 56) and dis­cov­ered the ex­per­i­ment has worked out even bet­ter than any of them imag­ined, of­fer­ing them com­pany, cre­ativ­ity, laugh­ter and par­ties. FI­NALLY, IF YOU CAN FEEL THOSE STRESS LEV­ELS MOUNT­ING as Christ­mas gets closer and the to-do list gets longer, TV pre­sen­ter Fearne Cot­ton – who has fought her own bat­tles with anxiety and de­pres­sion – of­fers her tips for stay­ing calm when all around you is go­ing crazy, page 26.

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